Luxembourg city and charming Echternach

September, 2022

After a few days of hiking, it is time to soak up some culture in the cities. In Luxembourg, public transport is free and easy. From Lenningen we get to the nearest terminus and hop on the train to the capital. The central station is on walking distance from the centre of town. Today will be very hot and perfect to visit one of the many museums. It will be nice to have some air conditioning! Around the station many renovations are taking place and we didn’t expect to see all these beggars!

The town is divided in high and low. It is not really a place for old people, although there is an elevator to go from down town to high town.

There are a couple of museums with a similar name and it makes things rather complicated! We walk all the way down in the heat to discover, that we arrive at the National Museum of Natural and History. Wrong one! Our goal is Musée National d’Histoire et d’Art, which is in the upper city. It means we have to climb all the way up again (in the heat). Supposingly, there is also a City History Museum, to make it even more complicated!

Our museum has a permanent collection about the town’s development, on the 5 lower levels. The temporary exhibits are on the higher levels. The entrance for the permanent exhibit is free. There is so much to see, that we will go back later in the week for the current exhibition: ‘Iran between times’, ‘Luxembourg’s colonial past’ and ‘The Rape of Europe’ (on Putin’s Russia), from artist Maxim Kantor.

The lower levels are underground and the combination of modern and old flows together in this very interesting museum!

 

Echternach is the second and oldest city we are visiting during our stay. It is situated in the famous Mullerthal region or ‘Little Switzerland’. In summer the town is probably overloaded with arriving and departing tourist buses, but now in september it is quiet again. We take our time to explore and admire the many medieval buildings. In the Romanesque Basilica, the tomb of Saint Willibrord, the patron saint of Luxembourg, is visible in the crypt.

The Musée de L’Abbaye is situated in the vaulted basement of the former Benedictine monastery. It offers a very interesting facsimiles collection of many impressive manuscripts, created in the scriptorium. Furthermore, there are various artifacts in relation to Saint Willibrord (founder of the Abbey in the 7th century) and the history of Luxembourg. All displayed in a stunning decor!

We stroll through the park and discover the bridge over the river Sauer, which connects Luxembourg with Germany. The old customs (zoll) house reminds of former times, when crossing the borders was more complicated!

Later in the afternoon, we walk to one of the quaint squares, for a glass of wine (or two) and some delicious ‘flammkuchen’.

 

Three cats and La Moselle in Luxembourg.

23rd of August, 2022

Our next house and cat sit is in Lenningen, a tiny village in southern Luxembourg. The area is surrounded by vineyards and the river La Moselle is on walking distance. It is a perfect place to discover the many hiking trails, visit the capital Luxembourg and drive across the bridge to Germany.

The cats only visit us when they are hungry, or when they find it necessary to offer a gift. That will be a mouse, dead or alive and preferable under the dining table. Sometimes we don’t see them for one or two days. The moment I start worrying, they show up again, finish their bowls of food and disappear to one of the bedrooms. I think they see us as a nuisance….

The river La Moselle takes it’s source at a height of 735 meters, on the slopes of the Vosges and flows into the Rhine at Koblenz. The banks of the river are covered with vineyards.

The most popular hikes are called “Traumschleife” or “Dream Loops”.  We start with the ‘Wine and Nature Path Palmberg’. It begins at the village of Ahn, famous for the 11 wine houses. The 9 km trail goes straight up, through different wineries, along a small river with jungle-like scenery and offers panoramic views. The height difference is around 313 meters. It ends at winery Jeff Konsbrück; the perfect spot to relax with a glass of delicious white wine, some bites, and a view over the village.

Our second “Traumschleife” is the Mantenacher Fiels and we fully enjoy this 9.6 km loop with a height difference of 275 meters. We pass wild streams, old bridges and enormous rock formations.

At times, the path becomes narrow and steep. Once we arrive on a plateau of farmland, the landscape changes from lushy green to golden yellow. The next moment we enter a small vineyard on the lower level and a private weekend cabin in the middle of nowhere. Finally, we arrive back at the Nature Conservation Centre ‘A Wiewesh’ in Manternach. On the terrace some refreshments are waiting and also a sample of the Mantenacher white wine. You don’t get a bill; just pay a fair price and put the coins in a box!

The third Traumschleife is called ‘Schengen Without Borders’. In this small village on the south-eastern site of Luxembourg, the borders of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet. In 1985 the famous Schengen Agreement was signed on a river cruise ship. On the 19th of June 1990, the Convention for the concrete implementation of this agreement was supplemented. It meant border-free travel within European member countries. The local museum gives an insight into this historical event.

Our 8.5 km loop starts at the Tourist Information Centre. We have to climb the Stromberg and the height difference will be around 330 meters. Although it is a pretty steep hike, our effort will be rewarded with a stunning view over the river Moselle!